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Moral Hazard and Persistence

  • Hugo Hopenhayn
  • Arantxa Jarque

We study a multiperiod principal-agent problem with moral hazard in which the agent is required to exert effort only in the initial period of the contract. The effort choice of the agent in this first period determines the conditional distribution of output in the following periods. The paper characterizes the optimal compensation scheme. We find that the results for the static moral hazard problem extend to this setting: consumption at each point in time is ranked according to the likelihood ratio of the corresponding history. As the length of the contract increases, the cost of implementing effort decreases, and consumption on the equilibrium path becomes less volatile. If the contract lasts for an infinite number of periods, assuming the effect of effort does not depreciate with time, the cost of the principal gets arbitrarily close to that of the first best

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Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2006 Meeting Papers with number 670.

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Date of creation: 03 Dec 2006
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Handle: RePEc:red:sed006:670
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  1. Ana Fernandes & Christopher Phelan, 1999. "A recursive formulation for repeated agency with history dependence," Staff Report 259, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  2. Hopenhayn, H. & Nicolini, P.J., 1996. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance," RCER Working Papers 421, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  3. Jarque, Arantxa, 2010. "Repeated moral hazard with effort persistence," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 145(6), pages 2412-2423, November.
  4. Wang, Cheng, 1997. "Incentives, CEO Compensation, and Shareholder Wealth in a Dynamic Agency Model," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 76(1), pages 72-105, September.
  5. Atkeson, Andrew, 1991. "International Lending with Moral Hazard and Risk of Repudiation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(4), pages 1069-89, July.
  6. Grossman, Sanford J & Hart, Oliver D, 1983. "An Analysis of the Principal-Agent Problem," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(1), pages 7-45, January.
  7. Toshihiko Mukoyama & Ayşegül Şahin, 2005. "Repeated moral hazard with persistence," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 25(4), pages 831-854, 06.
  8. Steven Shavell & Laurence Weiss, 1978. "The Optimal Payment of Unemployment Insurance Benefits over Time," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 503, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  9. Illoong Kwon, 2006. "Incentives, wages, and promotions: theory and evidence," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 37(1), pages 100-120, 03.
  10. Borys Grochulski & Tomasz Piskorski, 2007. "Risky human capital and deferred capital income taxation," Working Paper 06-13, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
  11. Kim, Son Ku, 1995. "Efficiency of an Information System in an Agency Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(1), pages 89-102, January.
  12. Phelan Christopher, 1995. "Repeated Moral Hazard and One-Sided Commitment," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 66(2), pages 488-506, August.
  13. Rui Albuquerque & Hugo Hopenhayn, 2002. "Optimal Lending Contracts and Firm Dynamics," RCER Working Papers 493, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  14. Rogerson, William P, 1985. "Repeated Moral Hazard," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(1), pages 69-76, January.
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